Wednesday, January 4, 2017

Area MLS Real Estate Sales Exceed $1 Billion in 2016.

The sales numbers for 2016 are in and the Southern Georgian Bay region has reached a new milestone in sales activity with MLS® sales exceeding $1 billion for the year.

  MLS® dollar sales as reported by the Southern Georgian Bay Association of REALTORS® (SGBAR) for the municipalities clustered around the bottom of Georgian Bay topped $1.037 billion for the year which represents a 29% increase over 2015.  To put that into perspective, area MLS® real estate sales in terms of dollars have almost doubled since 2010 when sales totalled $544 million for the year.  It is also important to note that MLS® sales for the most part, do not include the significant number of new homes under construction in the various subdivisions scattered around the area.  

  Unit MLS® sales for the year hit 2,750 individual transactions an increase of 15% over 2015 when 2,386 MLS® sales were reported.  We have continued to see strong market activity for single family homes in the mid to upper price ranges which is why the increase in MLS® sales dollars far exceeds the MLS® unit sales increase.  As prices for single family homes in the area continue to increase, sales below $350,000 get less and less with each passing year as fewer and fewer properties can be bought for under that price point. Conversely, sales between $350,000 and $499,999 were up 43% for the year while sales between $500,000 to $799,999 and $800,000 to $999,999 increased by 55% respectively.  Lastly sales over $1 million totalled 82 units an increase of 71% over the prior year.

  MLS® single family home sales in 2016 totalled 1,773 properties, an increase of 7% over 2015 when 1,655 homes changed hands. The municipalities of Clearview, Grey Highlands and Meaford posted the largest gains in MLS® single family home sales, single family home sales in Clearview totalled 209 units, an increase of 32% over 2015.  MLS® single family home sales in the Municipality of Meaford were up 19% in 2016 with 166 units sold while Grey Highlands saw a resurgence in MLS® sales activity after several years of lacklustre demand with 71 properties changing hands representing an 18% increase over the prior year.   Single family home sales in Wasaga Beach were up 13% in 2016 while MLS® sales of single family homes in Collingwood and the Blue Mountains had modest increases of 6% and 3% respectively.  

During 2016 we saw a strong resurgence in vacant land sales particularly in the Blue Mountains where new subdivisions such as Phase 3 of Nipissing Ridge continued to come on stream.  MLS® vacant lot sales in 2016 totalled 285 properties compared to just 200 in the prior year, an increase of 42%, Vacant land sales during 2016 in the Blue Mountains of 105 properties represents a 46% increase over last year.  Vacant land sales in this municipality represent 37% of the market total which helps to explain why existing sales of single family home sales in the municipality were the weakest of all other areas.

  In my next post I will review the area's condominium sales activity in 2016, a segment of the market which continues to grow and showed the largest gain in terms of a unit sales increase for 2016.  The amount of available housing inventory continues to remain well below market demand which is creating market dynamics unlike anything we have seen in recent years.  This too I will cover in more detail in a future post.

  Happy New Year and as always, should you have any questions about the market information provided herein or would like to discuss you particular real estate situation, please do not hesitate to Contact Me.


Tuesday, October 18, 2016

You Can Help Save The Nottawasaga Lighthouse

As many of you may be aware, there has been a movement afoot for a number of years now by a dedicated and passionate group of volunteers to acquire and restore the Nottawasaga Lighthouse. Originally initiated by the late Jim Kilgour, this project was stalled due to Jim's untimely passing and was subsequently resurrected by Krista King and a following of eager and passionate individuals that are strong advocates of seeing this iconic structure restored to its former glory.
  I am an avid boater and have spent my entire life travelling on Georgian Bay and northern Lake Huron based from cottage at South Baymouth on Manitoulin Island.  I have a great appreciation for and fascination with lighthouses, both as navigational aids while boating as well as the unique architectural and historical significance they represent  My great grandfather was the lightkeeper of two range lights at South Baymouth one of which is pictured here so there is also some family connection to these unique structures.

  The Nottawasaga Lighthouse was one of six "Imperial" towers built between 1855 and 1858.  Ironically, our own Nottawasaga Lighthouse went into service in 1858, the very same year that the Town of Collingwood was incorporated.   All six of the towers are still in existence today, unfortunately the Nottawasaga Lighthouse is in the worst shape stemming from years of neglect as the light was decommissioned in 2003 after which it was subsequently struck by lightning causing further damage.  For a complete history of the lighthouse and other information please visit the Nottawasaga Lighthouse Preservation Society (NLPS) website.

  This past June I was elected to the NLPS Board of Directors and humbly assumed the position of Chairman.  Collectively the Board has worked very hard through the summer months and this week we are in the process of taking the first step in what we hope will be a successful and historically correct restoration of the tower and eventually the rebuilding of the lightkeeper's house.  The accompanying picture is one of the six Imperial towers, this one on Cove Island off Tobermory.  One day the Nottawasga Lighthouse will stand as proudly as this one.  Over the next four to six weeks we will be shrink wrapping the tower to help prevent any further degradation of the structure while we raise the necessary funds for its restoration.  While this work is underway you too can help.

  Aviva Canada is one of the leading casualty and property insurers in Canada.  Each year the Aviva Community Fund provides $1 million in funding for special community projects across the country and this year the Nottawasaga Lighthouse has made their list of contenders for up to $100,000 in funding.  You can help by casting you vote to save our "Light."  To date we have over 9,300 votes but many more are needed.  Please visit Aviva's "Help Save The Nottawasaga Lighthouse" webpage or the NLPS website to cast your vote and encourage your friends to do likewise.  Each person can cast 18 votes, it's quick and easy yet will potentially mean a great deal in helping us to secure this funding opportunity.

  In the coming weeks I will endeavour to keep you apprised of the shrink wrapping process as we race against the weather to complete the work.  If you have any questions and or to offer your support in any way, we are always looking for volunteers in various capacities so feel free to contact me at 705-443-1037 or via email at


Friday, October 7, 2016

Area MLS® Real Estate Sales Could Hit $1 Billion in 2016

 MLS® sales in September as reported by the Southern Georgian Bay Association of REALTORS (SGBAR) continued at a record pace bringing us one step closer to realizing $1 billion in MLS® sales volume for 2016.

  MLS® dollar sales in September totalled $94.3 million, an increase of 18% from one year ago when sales reached $80.0 million. A total of 243 properties sold in September through our local MLS® system which was actually a decrease in unit sales of 2% from September of last year when 249 properties sold.  As I have said in prior posts, the only real threat to sales is the lack of properties listed for sale.  New listings during September declined a staggering 27% with 292 new MLS® listing reported in September compared to 399 in September of last year.  Year-to-date, new MLS® listing activity is down 9% while sales are at record levels.  There remains an abundance of buyers with far too few properties listed for sale to satisfy the demand.

Year-to-date MLS® unit sales for the first nine months of 2016 now total 2,188 properties, an increase of 18% over last year.  MLS® dollar volume for the year now stands at $812.2 million, 30% higher than the same time last year.  Total MLS® dollar volume in 2008 totalled $489.2 million and here we are on the threshold of breaking the $1 billion barrier for 2016 a mere 8 years later.

  The growth in area condominium sales are outpacing the sales of single family homes.  Through the end of September condo sales are up 21% from last year with 440 MLS® sales year-to-date.  MLS® single family home sales totalling 1,442 properties reflects a 15% over the 1,255 home sold in the first nine months of 2015.  After two or three slow years, we have seen a very strong resurgence in vacant land sales. Year-to-date there have been 201 vacant lot sales compared to 150 last year, an increase of 34%.  Clearly the shortage of finished homes listed for sale has helped to drive the sale of vacant lots with buyers electing to build in a market where there clearly a shortage of homes to choose from.

 Not all areas of our market are performing equally as well in this robust market. Clearview Township continues to lead all area municipalities in terms of the largest increase in single family home sales year-over-year with 159 sales through the end of September marking a 28%% increase over 2015. Single family home sales in Wasaga Beach are up 23% this year with 546 MLS® sales reported compared to 443 one year ago.  Sales of single family homes in Collingwood are up a more modest 10% year-to-date while sales in the Municipality of Meaford and Grey Highlands are up 14% and 20% respectively.  Lastly single family home sales in the Blue Mountains are down this year with 159 sales reflecting a 2% decrease from one year ago.  New home building activity in the Blue Mountains is very strong which has no doubt played a role in the reduced sales activity of exiting homes in the municipality.  Vacant land sales in the Blue Mountains this year are up 36% with 72 lot sales so far this year.

  As we head into the final stretch of the year, it would appear that the insufficient supply of properties on the market is going to have an adverse impact on sales activity during the final quarter.  For those looking to sell, the timing right now could never be better to maximize the equity in your property.

  Selling or buying in this hyper active market has its challenges.  For a confidential no obligation  discussion about your real estate goals or needs please feel free to Contact Me.

Contact Me

Royal LePAGE Locations North (Brokerage)

330 First Street, Collingwood, ON L9Y 1B4


Direct: 705-443-1037

Office: 705-445-5520 ext 230


My Profile

Rick relocated to Collingwood from Toronto in 1985 through a transfer with Goodyear Canada. In 1987 Rick was recruited by a major client of Goodyear’s, managing their Canadian business based in Barrie before moving to Chicago in 1992 as Vice President of Sales & Marketing. Upon returning to Canada in 1996, Rick ran an industrial products manufacturing company in Stratford, Ontario. In 1998 Rick returned to Collingwood with his two children. Rick is a licensed real estate Broker with Royal LePAGE Locations North in Collingwood and holds his MVA designation (Market Value Appraiser-Residential). He is an active volunteer in the community serving several years on the Board of Directors with the Collingwood Chamber of Commerce as Treasurer, 6 years on the Board of Directors for the Southern Georgian Bay Association of REALTORS® of which he is the Past President (2008) and currently serves on a committee with the Ontario Real Estate Association. Rick is a diverse executive manager with extensive experience in strategic planning, manufacturing, finance, human resources and quality assurance management.